MiX Professional Review
Thank you to Mike for a review of our new MiX Professional Microexpression Training!
Microexpression Training Review
One of the keys of effective communication is being able to observe the emotional impact you have on people, and adjust accordingly. Training someone to recognize emotions in others can be difficult, and even more so when working with microexpressions (quick flashes of emotion).
Currently there aren’t a lot of products that train someone to recognize emotions and microexpressions. This post is a review of Humintell’s new product, MiX Professional, which aims to fill that gap.
What is MiX Professional?
MiX Professional is an online flash-based microexpression training course that covers facial expressions of all 7 of the universal emotions (happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, contempt, and disgust). In plain English: it helps you recognize the short-lived expressions of emotion that tell us how people are really feeling.
When you purchase a license key for MiX Professional, you get unlimited access to the training materials for 1 year. The course is divided into three areas: expression basics, training videos, and testing. Let’s look at those three things.
This is the first part of the course, and it covers the fundamentals of human emotion. This part of the course also talks about how we express our emotions with our faces, and some of the difficulties that arise when reading expressions of emotion. Consisting of static pages of text, this is a good introduction to the mindset needed for properly recognizing and interpreting facial expressions.
If you’re new to microexpressions, this is an important section because the videos assume a certain level of background knowledge. Even if you’ve taken prior MiX courses, this is a good section to review because it covers material that isn’t discussed elsewhere.
This is the heart of the product, and where most of the new material was added. There is a section for each universal emotion, as well as a new section that covers expressions of emotion that are easy to confuse (e.g. disgust and anger).
The sections for the different emotions follow a consistent format. First is a video showing faces that transition between a neutral position, and an emotional expression. The videos are narrated, describing the facial changes that are relevant for the emotion. One thing I found a bit difficult was trying to listen to the
narration while simultaneously observing the facial changes. I ended up going through each video twice, the first time taking notes, and the second time observing.
After watching the first set of videos, the next screen contains additional information about the emotion. This is a new part of the course and includes:
• What causes (triggers) the emotion
• Purposes of the emotion
• Associated FACS codes
• Other nonverbal behaviors
The last part of training for an emotion is another video (also new to this version of MiX) that describes the evolutionary roots and roles of the emotion.
You might be asking yourself “how does this help me recognize an emotion?” Understanding the evolutionary role of an emotion helps understand why various facial changes occur, and is useful when trying to discern between expressions of emotions that are easy to confuse (e.g. anger and disgust).
This part of the course allows you to measure your skills at recognizing microexpressions. There are actually two tests, a practice test and a post test. The idea is to take the practice test before you go through the training, so when you take the post test, you can see how much you’ve improved.
The tests consist of a series of images of different faces in a neutral position, followed by a flash of an expression of an emotion. In MiX Professional the expression is only displayed for 1/10th of a second. There are a column of buttons that you use to select which emotion was expressed.
If you’re taking the post test, you proceed directly from one image to the next. However if you’re taking the practice test, shown in the screen shots below, you’ll get immediate feedback telling you whether or not you selected the correct emotion. The practice test also has two additional buttons that appear after selecting an emotion. The first button allows you to repeat the question, and the second button displays the expression as long as you keep the button clicked.
After choosing the emotion, here is the expression that was flashed.
At the end of each test (56 questions for the practice test, 14 questions for the post test) you get a break down of how well you did for each emotion.
Things to Consider
If you’re thinking about purchasing access to MiX Professional, there are a few things you should consider:
• What is your goal? If you want to learn how to recognize and interpret expressions of emotions, then MiX Professional is a great product. If you’re trying to learn FACS, then MiX Professional is a nice way to practice your FACS coding, but is definitely not a substitute for the FACS manual.
• Reading microexpressions is a skill, not a checklist. The videos and tests are good for building your skills, however alone they aren’t enough. You need to practice reading microexpressions on a regular basis.
• This type of training takes time. Theoretically you can go through the entire product in under an hour. If you’re new to this sort of thing, plan for at least two hours of study, and roughly an hour for a refresher.
All in all, the training is a good way to build/reinforce your skills at recognizing microexpressions and reading emotions. Check it out… you’ll get a lot of value from MiX Professional.
Disclosure: The author received complimentary access to the training product for consideration in preparing to write this review.